The Funeral of Prince Mikasa of Japan

  November 4, 2016 at 4:19 am by

The funeral of His Imperial Highness Prince Mikasa of Japan has taken place today at the Toshimagaoka Imperial Cemetery in Tokyo.  The solemn and sacred event was attended by  the late Prince’s widow and the Chief Mourner, Princess Yuriko, who was accompanied by her granddaughter Princess Akiko.  Other members of the Imperial Family, including Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako were also in attendance, together with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; the Ambassador of the United States to Japan, Caroline Kennedy and over 580 other guests.

Imperial Court protocols meant that Their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and Empress did not attend the funeral.  Instead, they were represented by the Grand Chamberlain of the Imperial Household, Chikao Kawai.

The funeral cortege started its slow journey to the cemetery from the Akasaka Estate in Tokyo, passing the Imperial Palace and members of the public who came out along the route to pay their last respects.  Upon arrival at the cemetary, ancient Imperial Court music (Gagaku) was played with the Japanese flute (Shakuhachi).

A Shinto priest enrobed in pure white then walked slowly in front of the hearse, with Princess Yuriko and the other mourners following behind.  Shinto readings were then made before the chief mourners laid offerings in the form of ritual greenery at the altar of the shrine.  Afterwards, other mourners bowed deeply to pay their respects.

Prince Mikasa’s body will be cremated later on today before being interred.

For more news, images and discussion of this event, please click here.







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